Indianapolis: Nap Town? Not Today.

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Photo Credit: @Pacers

May 26, 2013.

Might as well mark it down as one of the biggest days in Indianapolis’ sports history. Today will include everything but naps for Indianapolis sports fans.

12:12 PM EST: The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.

8:30 PM EST: Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat in downtown Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

With hometown racer and Butler University alumnus, Ed Carpenter, sitting on the pole, the fans had plenty to cheer for today. The crowd erupted when Carpenter was introduced during the pre-race festivities and roared again when Billy Graham asked, “to continue our joy tonight in helping our beloved Pacers to ice the Heat,” in the pre-race prayer.

While Ed Carpenter did not win, he was still able to finish 10th while leading 37 laps along the way. If anyone had to win other than the Butler alum, it was Tony Kanaan, who has been a crowd favorite for years. He was able to persist through a record-high 68 lead changes to capture his first Indy 500 title in his 12th attempt.

Thus, with around 400,000 in attendance and an exciting race, the Indy 500 was a great success for Indianapolis, and let’s hope the Pacers can help cap off a perfect day for the city. In just over 4 hours, they will square off against LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

If the Pacers limit their turnovers, defend in front to prevent straight-line drives to the basket by Heat players, and take advantage of their low-post advantage in Roy Hibbert and David West, they will have a really good chance at taking control of the series.

It also helps that they are at home and will be playing in front of an electric crowd. For as crazy as the atmosphere was for Game 6 against the Knicks, tonight will be on a completely different level.

If any Miami Heat fans made the trip to Indianapolis (let’s be honest, they probably didn’t…they have trouble making the trip to their home arena), they can borrow some of the ear plugs used at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today so that they can handle the crowd noise. Indianapolis Colts punter, Pat McAfee, will be proud because it most definitely will be Bonkers Life Fieldhouse tonight.

Indianapolis sports fans can find time for a nap sometime tomorrow…

Until next time…

Joe
@stlCupOfJoe

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